tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 20, 2009 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
good evening. i'm chris matthews. in washington, leading off tonight, armed and ready, they're called the oath keepers. current around former law enforcement officers who pledge to disobey orders they believe are illegal saying they're preventing cities from becoming concentration camps. at the top of the show, we're going to hear the founder of that group, but also the head of the southern poverty law center who opposes them. plus, wall street just can't help itself. a year after the american taxpayer bailed out the major banks, many can't or won't get back into the lending business. but they seem to have no problem handing out billions of bonuses to themselves. so what a stupid question, where's the gratitude? and where's the shame? afghanistan's hamid karzai agreed to a runoff election with his main rival today. but now defense secretary gates
is saying we have to today we americans on a war strategy even before a legitimate government is established in that country. that seems to put the secretary of defense at odds with the white house. how are we going to figure out what to do in afghanistan if members of the administration are not on the same page? and talk about being tone deaf, two south carolina republican party chairmen, using their words, he was acting like a jew watching our nation's pennies. their words. that story and the inevitable and necessary apology in the politics fix. and finally, jay leno shows that some people will never believe that hillary clinton has given up her presidential election. that's in the side show tonight. but we start with the oath keepers who are they and what they are and what they say? they are all about.
they join me now. stewart, let me run through a couple of things you say your group will not obey orders to do. let's take a look at that. we have the list here. >> do you guys have the current firepower to stand up against the federal government if you people are ordered to do those things? >> well, it's not the point of firepower. it's the obligation all of us have who have sworn an oath to support and defend the constitution. we're calling on active duty military and police to simply stand down and to refuse to comply with unlawful orders. >> all your people in your
recruited groups are all people who are potentially armed, is that right? >> if they're active duty police and military, of course. >> that seems to be the group you're going after and the group you're recruiting. >> they're the ones that will receive unlawful orders. >> let's not confuse the issue. you have on your list, you will not assert -- you will not obey any orders to invade or subjugate any -- you laugh. you laugh, a sovereign state of the united states. in other words. the civil war would not have been fight if you guys has been around. >> that's not the point. >> you say you will not invade any state or subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty. what would you have done if you had been in the union army? >> then? >> yeah.
>> we're not talking about secession here. we're talking about the balance of power -- >> you say any state that nu nullifies its sovereignty -- if rick perry, he talks about secession. i don't think he means it. if he did try to secede and you were in the federal government, what would you do? >> i think it has a right to assert its sovereignty. there's dual sovereignty in our government. >> does it have a right to secede? >> if the federal government violates the constitution. >> give me the circumstances. i've always wanted to know about operations. i don't care about your philosophy. a lot of people are libertarian. i like ron paul. it got no problem with the philosophy. what i don't like about people who are armed who are being recruited to stand up in some operation. i want to know when you would call your forces together and
challenge the authority of the u.s. government. >> it's not calling forces together. it's simply saying they're not going to comply with orders to violate the rights of the american people. we're not talking about asking them to go fight. we're saying simply don't fight. don't fight the people. >> what's this concentration camp thing you're talking about, and bringing foreign troops into the united states? what scenarios do you live in? >> look at the history of the last 20th century. we had the japanese americans on american soil -- their attacks. >> do you see the concentration -- >> it's a possibility. our goal -- >> why are you organizing people about the plausibility of concentration camps in this country of the landing of foreign troops? what foreign troops would be landed in the united states? what are you talking about? >> this is a historic pattern. it's happened in the past. we want to make sure it doesn't happen here. >> when?
name them. i'm confused here. name the foreign troops -- >> look at the american revolution that were brought here. you had foreign troops then that were used. it happens throughout history. go look at history. >> so you're putting people together on kind of a war footing preparing them to be vigilant -- >> it's not a -- >> to be ready to challenge the imposition of foreign troops in this country -- you know what i think you're up to, is creating a mindset. i heard some people talking about the battle, we have to keep the battle going. you want to have people in a militant environment where they think of militantly with this sense of perhaps taking steps at some point against the government, not taking orders or in some way rebelled. so you keep people in a mindset of right wing thinking so you can achieve a political goal. what are you trying to get people to do in the next year or two or ten years before this
armageddon struggle occurs? >> we want them to keep their oath. >> in the short term -- you don't expect the concentration camps to come in the short run, do you? >> no, i don't. it's a long-term concern. >> do you expect the hessians to be back in the short term? >> we're trying to avoid the abuse and violation of rights that's happened in other countries in recent history. >> how so? >> by keeping the oath. it's to the constitution. >> so you believe that we have a possibility in this country of undermining the constitution under barack obama. that's what you see coming? >> or under a future president giuliani or anybody else. the abuse of the constitution didn't begin with obama and it hasn't stopped unfortunately either. bush was violating the constitution also. >> how many hours a day do you worry about the constitution being undermined by barack obama, undermined? in other words, your rights being taken away, concentration
camps being formed, foreign troops being landed, the black helicopters stopping at a military base near you. how many hours a day do you think about that plausibility? >> i'm a constitutional lawyers. >> how many hours a day do you worry about this actually happening? do you go to bed at night -- are you afraid at some point in your lifetime the black helicopters from the u.n. will arrive to the united states and deny american sovereignty? do you think that's probable or possible? >> i think it's possible. >> or plausible? >> i think we're concerned about -- look at germany, an advanced civilization and they fell into a despotism in a span of ten years after an economic collapse. it could happen here. >> i think what you're trying to do is create a state of mind. >> you think think of want. >> you're getting people to sign up and getting people who are armed. why do you only recruit among police and military and people like that? >> they will be given the orders
to abuse your rights. who else is going to be doing it? if someday there's some dictator that comes to power in america, who's going to get the order? wouldn't you have liked the soldiers in world war ii to refuse to surround the japanese americans? >> i assume that this wasn't necessary to form a vigilante group like this one. i don't understand your thinking about the government. every time we have a debate on this show, it's clear we don't have a unified government in this country. we have democrats on the hill, we have conservative republicans and moderate republicans. they fight all the time. you guys say there's such a thing as the government that's all unified and working against you. where does that exist? you worked in washington. where is that thing called the government you allude to? >> you're saying there are -- >> i'm asking, where is it? where is this government that's
all unified against you, that's frightening and is about to deny your rights? who is this government? give me the name of it. >> the patriot act was bipartisan. they both voted for it, both sides. don't you think that was an abuse of power and abuse of rights? >> and it's being debated among people in the political system this country, people fighting it. we don't have to have armed people out there standing ready to challenge authority. let's move on. i want to bring mark in this and let him argue the case. what is the danger of these guys having meetings? i think it's a state of mind. but if they're not operational, if they don't take arms against the country, what difference does it make if they have this mindset of fear? >> well, i say a couple of things. stewart rhodes just talked about, maybe this could happen someday down the line and this is the sort of theoretical worry that he has or so he says. the reality is that when you look at the oath keeper's website, the core is this
business about the orders they're not going to obey and it starts out with a preamble, a quote from george washington saying, now is the time or soon comes the time when it will be determined whether we're slaves or freed men. immediately after that, the oath keeper easy' website presumably in stewart rhodes' words that that time is near at hand again. the bottom line is that this is a group that is driven by conspiracy theories about the government, very much like the militia conspiracy theories -- >> what's the harm in his thinking? >> they believe presumably that fema is out there setting up concentration camps and that kind of thing. this whole list of things that they're not going to do are the very fears that were enunciated by people in the militia movement, some of whom went on to do rather violent things n one case to attempt to attack ft. hood in texas because they thought foreign nationals were being trained there to suppress american patriots.
it's very much the same idea. >> let him respond to that. do you have in your group -- have you had any indication, stewart, that any teem have heard your arguments and have become dangerous to our society? >> not at all. >> what about the birther crowd? i want to know this. this fellow that broke into the holocaust museum this summer and shot the armed guard, he believed he was honoring a cause which was that barack obama shouldn't be president because he's not a legitimate citizen, native-born citizen. people do act. mcveigh and those people do act in this way in what they read and hear. you don't fear that? >> not in our organization at all. i find it offensive that potok likes to lump us into with white supremacists. i'm part hispanic. to hint that i'm in bed with
white supremacists and neo-nazis is ridiculous. you all coalescing together. >> how have we suggested that? that's ridiculous. >> yes, you have. you put us in the same bucket. >> the thing about your group is this is a group of men and women who are in largely in law enforcement. they are given weapons and they are given authority over the rest of us and that is well and fine. i'm all about reaffirming oaths to the constitution. it's a great document as is the bill of rights. however, when people with those powers are animated by dark and utterly false conspiracy theories, they actually mention in the section on the orders they won't obey that they fear that the government will be cracking down on militias and calling them right wing terrorists and so on. >> which you do all the time. >> that's the real agenda here.
they're driven by fears that are irrational and have no basis in reality. >> what do you -- >> let me stop. stewart, is there an imminent fear that our federal government will abandon the constitution, deny us our rights and even resort to things like concentration camps or disarming the american people in violation of the second amendment, disarming the people moving around the country collecting guns is that a real danger, sir, yes or no? >> yes, i think it is. >> a real danger? >> yes, i think it is. look at the pattern of abuse of executive power and claim to tort -- >> you keep changing the subject. what you have in your document says, we'll not obey order to disarm the american people. >> that's right. >> do you think these things on your list of fears are iminnocent and real threats to the american people now, disarm the american people, detain the american people, marshal law, consultati
consultatikonconcentration camp >> those are real threats throughout history. >> and you fear them? >> yes. wouldn't you? >> ip not agreeing with you but i'm agreeing with your right to say anything. thank you both. which political party will gain the most if wall street cleans up. excuse me, if. they're cleaning up. we'll ask a "new york times" reporter about the whole thing. you're watching "hardball." hear that? seals it tight. smells like fresh ground. fresh fresh fresh fre-- that's our favorite part. ...fresh! (announcer) taste why maxwell house is good to the last drop. the moisturizer in other body washes sits on top of skin. only new dove has nutriummoisture... which can nourish deep down. new dove body wash with nutriummoisture. superior natural nourishment for your skin. because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle.
choosing your own car? now that's a good call. go national. go like a pro. coming up, hamid karzai will face his main rival in a new runoff election november 7th. that's coming right up. what does this mean for the u.s. troops in that country when "hardball" returns. (announcer) there are engines...
have made their anger clear but what can or will they do about it? right now, "the new york times" reporter andrew is joining us right now. he covers wall street for "the new york times." he's author of this big. this big is too big to fall. the inside story of how washington fought to save the financial system and themselves. you're one of the smartest people around, the best writers around. you've got about five minutes to explain this. what is going on in new york? do they just not give a rat's ass about what the american people think? i'm looking at these numbers, $140 billion in bonuses set aside compared to a year ago when things were cool. goldman's got a $3.1 billion profit coming this third quarter -- they're doing super and they're grabbing it all. what's going on? >> you're absolutely right.
there is an element to this situation, i'm not sure they've owned up to the responsibility that he have to the community and the country as opposed to the shareholder. that's where the disconnect is. this is still a problem across the country. companies don't recognize or don't realize what they're supposed to do with this money. the good news is that these banks are healthier. the bad news is they're not any healthier because they're lending money to individuals who need mortgages or auto loans. they're healthier because they're trading their book, trading the shareholder money and profiting from it. the real question is, when they're going to realize that they were saved by the taxpayer and what that really means. there's one interesting piece to this. when they make all this money, there is a question, what do you do with this? where should it go? should it go back to the taxpayer? they're not the shareholder. should it go into the bank? you'd like it to go into the bank but there's no regulate toir requirement for them to do it and shareholder would kill
them. >> we all studied in school the marksist theory called the labor theory of value. you get paid for your labor and there shouldn't be any extra money made. we've all gone beyond that saying, no, there ought to be money for entrepreneurialism. they risk their lives to get a company going whether it's a laundry or a big bank, they deserve to make a big profit and live better than anybody else. that's the way the system works. but these guys who make money off money, is that necessary? a got like -- anybody you can think of, iacocca, spielberg, whether it's a movie or a car, he ought to make money. but money being made off of money, is it necessary for people to maybe -- are the entrepreneurs losing the money they should be getting from this money? >> i agree with you. i'm not sure where they should be making this type of money when you look at the hours worked and the money that comes
out on the other side, it makes no sense. the question is, why are they able to make all this money? >> good question. >> and the question oddly is that we, all of us, are prepared to pay them more than frankly they deserve. the margin, the premiums on everything they do are higher than most any other industry -- the walmart effect would happen. but an wall street, we've decided they're wizards and we're willing to give over 20% of the profits. it doesn't make sense. then the issue becomes, we are giving them the money. so the question is, why? and if we are, what are they supposed to do with it? >> are we better off for having hedge funds and derivatives and securitizing mortgages to create wealth for deficit swaps? all this incredible stuff i can barely master understanding the basis. does that keep our big capitalist system going or it wouldn't make it? >> i think it's become a pivotal part of this. i hate to say it because it's not a satisfying answer. >> it's a good answer if it's
true. >> i think it is true. i think this does make the world go round. over many years, we've been able to really raise what is the middle class. a lot of these things have happened because of some of this financial engineering. it's just when the financial engineering goes overboard and unfortunately that's what we saw last year. >> let me ask you about a couple of things i find fascinating. we've talked off the tv screen a couple of times. last year at this time as we went into the end of the bush administration, there was a sense of real fear. i've heard from some insiders in the industry scary it truly was. were we on the verge of a second 29, another big crash like a 1929? >> i think we were. just having finished this book, i didn't appreciate even as a reporter at that moment that the world was really about to fall off of its axis. there was a week -- it's not actually the weekend that is so famous when lehman brothers went bankrupt. but the week after, that morgan
stanley was about to fall, that goldman sachs was about to fall. >> who saved us? did president bush save us by putting the steps together with paulson and the others by acting with expedition? did he save this country, bush? >> i think history will look fondly on this part of the bush administration. i'm not sure i'm going to give the credit to bush and hank paulson for saving us. that's not to say they didn't bring us to the brink, too. there's two issues. we got to the brink. and then they got us out of there. but there's a lot of mistake that is went into putting us where we were. >> and secondly, did the big move to print a lot of money by bernanke at the fed and the big move to go with over $1 trillion deficit with stimulus, et cetera, et cetera, not to raise taxes, just to decrease spending. was that decision critical -- >> absolutely. >> barack obama gets no credit for saving us from the depression. people just say on the right and the left, bailouts, bailouts --
so he's taken the heat from his pop list base, friends of mine, and right wing people say bailout. so it seems like he's paying the price -- >> he is paying the price. but there were also -- there were also -- the bailout helped by the bush administration and the obama administration. the issue was, how it has been implemented and executed. i think where the outrage comes throughout the country is over how it was implemented, the fact that all of this money went into these banks and there were no requirements about whether you could give out these bonuses, what the incentive structure was going to be, how to recapitalize these firms. >> here's my incentive, if they read your book, people trying to figure out how close we came to the abyss, and how it oils the machinery of our economy, they could get knit this book, right? >> that's my hope. i think when you get inside the room and see the decision-making. and it's a nuanced situation, not always black and white -- >> how many pages is your book?
>> it's a long book but it reads fast. about 600 page, chris. >> once you put it down, you can't pick it up. "too big to fail" the name of the book. this book's got to make it how wall street and washington -- move the prompter, please. fought to save the financial system and themselves. thank you. >> thank you, chris. up next, does anyone really believe that hillary clinton will not run for president again? that's in the side show tonight. jay leno got this interesting piece of information from the audience the other night. you're watching "hardball." all right, when you look at the future of your business, what do you see? is the glass half-empty or half-full? well, with ups, you could eliminate warehouses. streamline your supply chain, and even reach new global markets. so your business is more adaptable, more efficient and more profitable. hey, the opportunities are out there. seize them with ups.
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presidential politics. >> well, hillary clinton was asked by abc news if she would ever run for president again. do you believe her? >> no! >> she wasn't that -- take a look. >> never a long time. you're never going to run for president? >> i have absolutely no interest in running for president again. none, i know it's hard for some people to believe but i just don't. >> i thought jay's initial reaction was interesting. also the reaction from the audience. it's easier to run for president than it is to stop. now for today's dose -- another dose of right wing mania. senator jim demint from south carolina caught flak from a democrat recently for not bringing back enough money to his state. two republican chairs stepped up to defend him. the message didn't come across as they intended it, i don't think. here's what these two fellows,
merwin and ohlmer wrote this weekend -- >> well, one of the county chairmen said he meant nothing derogatory by what he wrote in the newspaper article. and senator demint called the reference to jewish people in that article, thoughtless and hurtful. not to be too tough on the south, check out this internet banner out of pennsylvania. it starts out with seemingly normal ad for republican state supreme court candidate --
>> note the soviet hammer and sickle right there in place of the "o" in the president's name. the ad says it's paid for by the republican party of president. someone should tell the party of president, pass the word to them that red baiting went out about a half century ago. now for the big number, last week republican senator olympia snowe for theed for the finance committee's version of the health care. eric ericsson of redstate.com called for an all-out offensive posting this quote -- >> "the wall street journal" profiles one store in maine which was deluged by requests through amazon.com for rock salt to be sent to senator snowe's office in maine. how much salt did peeved
conservatives order from just one store? 1,200 pounds. that's 245-pound bachs of rock salt from ron's hardware ordered for snowe's office, tonight's oddly big number. up next, with a runoff election, afghanistan scheduled for november, will president obama make a strategy decision on american troop levels soon or will he wait for the results of that election november 7? you're watching "hardball." what doctors recommend for arthritis pain... in your hands... knees... and back. for little bodies with fevers... and big bodies on high blood pressure medicine. tylenol works with your body in a way other pain relievers don't... so you feel better... knowing doctors recommend tylenol more than any other brand of pain reliever.
points. weak numbers from the housing sectors putting a damper on the market today. new housing ratds rose .5%. the producer price index is a measure of wholesale inflation. it fell .6% in september. economists were expecting a smaller decline of .3%. in earnings news, coca-cola reported revenue declines across all its businesses. shares down a little more than 1%. dupont shares down 2% but pulling back on its earnings forecast for the year. and yahoo!'s earnings blew past the ratings today. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." the afghan president has agreed
to a runoff election after charges his election win was rigged. how will this affect barack obama's way forward in afghanistan? senator barbara boxer is here. senator jack reid is also with us. senator boxer, as you're thinking about afghanistan evolved over the months -- where are you at right now given the election next month? >> senator john kerry did an amazing job on this standing with karzai, talking to him and i think making sure that the way forward is better than what has gone on in the past. this election really had a lot of problems. i think that's a very positive thing and i just wanted to say that secretary clinton -- i saw her last night and she was saying what a good role that john kerry played. that's number one. but here's where i stand. i think the president is handling this just right because he has already doubled the troops in afghanistan. so the question is, where do we go from here?
and before we send more brave men and women out there, that's tough terrain, we need to be clear as to what the function is. we have to make sure that we're not sending too many troops rather than training more afghan troops because the people in afghanistan dislike the taliban immensely. and that's in our favor. so i think this president is listening to general mcchrystal. i think's listening to people up and down the chain of command, including, of course, those in civilian lives. secretary gate, joe biden, hillary clinton. i think that's appropriate. >> senator reid, is the united states military right now the main bulwark against the taliban retaking that country? >> the united states force is part of the nato force but they're not alone. the british forces have done extremely well and fought extremely hard. canadian force, dutch forces. but as far as size goes, the
united states is the largest contingent. but we can't forget it's a nato fight. our troops have done a remarkable job. we have great leadership and we are, i think -- i agree wholeheartedly with senator boxer. the president is taking the time, being deliberate, looking at a very complex, comprehensive challenge. it's not just troops. it's civilian advisers, it's the capacity of local government, it's international support, it's the situation in pakistan. all these things have to be weighed very carefully and he's doing that. >> senator boxer, you start and then senator reid. what scares me is when you read dexter filkin's piece this weekend, it seems like petraeus' goal is to put troops and embed them in the communities and play defense against the taliban. that seems to be creating almost a bo jest situation, a french
foreign legion situation where we have guys mainly in outposts ready to be attacked at night or whenever by the enemy. and we are, in fact, out on point defending the nation of afghanistan against its own insurgent force, the taliban. is that something you're happy with? >> well, let me respond -- and i know jack served in the military. so he's going to be the one who's going to be more on point. but let me say, you've proven our main point here which is, you're right in explaining what the general has talked about, general mcchrystal. and it will put our troops in greater harm's way and that is why this president is taking his time. look, for me, i voted -- it's interesting -- to go to war against al qaeda. that's what i did. and i voted "no" to go to iraq, which took our eye off the ball and we have to now make up for the lost time. but we need to be clear on what our mission is. and i believe our main mission
is to make sure that al qaeda is disrupted, destroyed. right now, we think they're down to almost double digits in afghanistan. but we know and we want to say very clearly that pakistan is finally doing its job that we hoped they would do before, taking the fight to al qaeda in the hills there between the two count countries. but start the taliban in afghanistan, we have to come up wit right strategy. and i keep thinking in my mind -- and i agree with senator levin who's spoken out on this -- what we have going for us is the majority of the afghan people despite the taliban. so we need to, it seems to me, before we subject our troops to more casualties, see whether or not the afghans can take the fight to the taliban just as now we see in pakistan they're taking the fight to al qaeda. >> do you think that's credible, senator reid? do you think the afghan forces can take on the taliban as aggressively as the pakistan military can take ob its own taliban?
>> not at this juncture. the afghani forces are being trained, they have been trained but they're not of sufficient size or of sufficient organizational skill comparable to the pakistanis. the pakistanis have a large army. they've had it for 50 years. they've engaged in warfare unfortunately with regional entities like india. they're a much more experienced force. the issue in afghanistan on the ground is general mcchrystal is trying to protect population centers and also trying to use that security to provide for the building up of a basic delivery of services. essentially, it's a struggle to gain the support of these afghanis. that's limited by the number of forces on the ground. but the real imitation ultimately is not american forces, i think as senator levin and senator boxer suggested, it's afghani forces and afghani capacity to govern. these are things we've not
concentrated on during the bush administration. we have to concentrate on now. the hope is that we can make this transition from american forces to afghani forces. in fact, ultimately that's going to be the test. ultimately the afghanis have to protect themselves. >> i totally agree with that. there are 94,000 of them. they have to be better trained and we're going to train another 94,000 of them. >> thank you very much. up next, what were two republican officials in south carolina thinking if they were thinking when they complimented senator jim demint, their republican senator, by comparing him to, well, it was a jewish kind of a reference. we'll let their words speak for itself. we're not used to hearing this kind of talk. that's next in the politics fix. this is "hardball." tdd# 1-800-345-2550 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 i don't really need much more than that right now. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 well we're going to be living on this money pretty soon. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there's no time to make mistakes, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at this point we need all the help we can get. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 i've got investments all over,
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>> well, charles of "the new york times," get ready for the phillies up there in yankee country. i know the big apple, gotham and all those other titles of renown, they may be gone soon. >> come on, that's a low blow. >> thathe's opening with the threats. >> philadelphia's had a score to settle with your down for about 200 years. why do you think philly fans are so joyous? thank god for jimmy rollins. let me ask you this question. is this just old school? i don't want to jump on these country boys. they made a reference to an old sort of canard. jack benny used to tell jokes. it's not anybody defends it.
a really smart fellow, you know matt brooks, head of the jewish republican coalition nationally. he jumped right on it. i think the republicans are smart to jump on this from inside the party. your thoughts? >> i think that's right. the problem is very much a national problem. we keep having these unfortunate word choices by people on local levels who are part of the republican party. as another south carolinian, lindsey graham said last week, you want to make the republican party more than a party of angry white men. at this point they have had these same sorts of slipups with their president, alienating african-american voters. the same sorts of slipups, unfortunate language in criticizing the supreme court justice. at that point nominee sotomayor, alienating the his panics. you can't afford to alienate the jewish vote. >> the number on that vote, i do
watch all these votes as you do, chris. sarah palin killed them. i understand with that community. >> two quick things. one is this is your classic with friends like these, who needs ene enemies? these guys are trying to jump to jim demint's defense. >> the newspaper editor -- >> it ran as an editorial which says something. number two, this one you should distinguish a little bit. joe wilson put it on a little bit. he yelled "you lie" at a big national speech with the president. jim deep mint, these are people doing this -- as to the best of my knowledge without his knowledge. he had to come in and condemn them later. in some ways i would december ting wish them from jim demint because they're not all of the same thing. >> these guys take a little cuffing on this, right? charles? a little cuffing in order? not go too far beyond that? let's come back here in a minute. i want to talk about -- we have a lot of numbers to look at
tonight. fascinating new numbers. the president according to the latest "washington post"/abc news poll is back up there at 57%. this tough summer, this guy has done well by the equinox. every time it's gotten cooler this guy's gotten cooler. we'll be back with chris cillizza and charles blow of "the new york times" and chris cillizza of "washington post." announcer: right now, all over the country, discover card customers are getting 5% cashback bonus at grocery stores.
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charles blow. let's take a look, gentlemen, at these two, three great poll numbers. this is out today. the new "washington post"/abc news poll, a big poll has just come out. it's got the president's job approval at 57%. look ha it's got for party i.d. 20% of the country says, that's one in five, i am a republican. only one in five willing to say i'm a republican. incredible. then this one, more to that point, who do you want to have -- who do you like running congress? obama has about 49%. look at this one. do you want the republicans in congress running this show? 19%. slightly less than one in five. democrats on the hill that get dumped all over at 34%. charles blow, one in five people, this isn't new york anymore. this is the country. this sounds like the new york city statistics, one in five republicans. what do you make of this? >> first, one moment -- one bit of caution which is that party i.d. is not likely voters.
also if you divvy up the independents it evens out a bit. that said, these are record lows for the republicans. it's really a problem for them, you know, if ten people walking down the street, only two of those people are likely to be republicans. people are fleeing the republican party partly because it's deficient in the ideas and the quality of ideas it has and now, you know, it's kind of left with people trying to purify it down -- the excess down to the bone. that's a problem for them. >> you know, one in five, that's wyoming and that's about it. >> i look at the numbers. look, we've heard today a lot of flak, us, the "washington post" about the numbers from republicans. to my mind -- >> what is the knock on your poll -- >> the knock is they're too negative on republicans. newt gingrich said that. >> defend your poll. >> look at it in the context. it's not as though it's a poll
that came out two days ago that had the number of 35%. charles is right about party i.d. not a great predictor. >> is this because young people younger than you will say if you ask them what they are, they might say democrat because of obama. because they voted for him heavily. minorities especially. all young people. they might say independent. they're not comfortable saying republican. >> absolutely. there's no question about that. the one number you didn't show, 42% in terms of party i.d. are independents. double digits more than republicans and double republicans. so, yes, there's no question obama has made it cool to say you're a democrat. how long does that last? i think that's a real question. when less than one in five people in the country trust republicans to handle the big issues, have confidence to handle the big issues, that says to me this 2010 election we're painting as a good election for republicans, it may not be as good if republicans can't get the american people to believe in them. >> the president doesn't have -- part of the point by mark
murray, one of our colleagues here today, an hour or so ago, that barack doesn't have good summers. he didn't have a good summer in '08. didn't have a good summer in 0s is. he comes back with the christmas of fall. >> that rising approval rating is problematic and hides a little bit. people like barack obama ads a person, not necessarily a policymaker. look how he's doing on the individual topics "the post" asks him about, the numbers are going down ar staying steady and low. >> he is a policymaker. >> it's a problem for barack obama. when you look at the public option people say they prefer it but democrats have dropped 15% in the percent who say he's handling the job of health care well. that's a problem for him. >> charles, i love your dan rather sweater by the way. thank you very much. i worked for him. got his ratings up in the ole days. thank you kriz cillizza, charles blow. join us again tomorrow night at 5:00 and 7:00 eastern for more "hardball." right now time for texas